Turkey Punches Ticket For Second Phase

16 June 2013
Isil Alben (Turkey)
Isil Alben and Turkey got it done for a second day in a row

By Paul Nilsen

Turning Point: After a miserable opening quarter which had seen Turkey trailing 15-2, they arose from their slumber in the second quarter and finished the period with the last 11 points. This established a foothold in the game and gave them the platform required for an excellent third quarter.

Stats Don't Lie: There is depth and a real quality rotation for Turkey which is credit to head coach Ceyhun Yildizoglu. He had the confidence and trust to hand no fewer than nine players more than 15 minutes in the game - despite a tough opponent and tough situation.

Game Heroes: A trio of guards got the job done for the winning team. Tugba Palazoglu and Esmeral Tuncluer shared four triples and 24 points, whilst Birsel Vardarli had seven assists including a memorable behind-the-back pass.

Turkey produced another classy display after shrugging off a horror start to see off Montenegro 66-57 and become the first team from Vannes to seal a place in Round 2 of EuroBasket Women 2013.

Montenegro jumped out on Turkey with a scorching start, catching their opponents cold, but it wasn't long before Turkey showed their quality by dragging themselves back into the contest.

The Turkish team produced a visible uplift in their defensive intensity and according to Tugce Canitez, this was the most important factor in achieving the turnaround in fortune.

"We started out badly at the beginning of the game but with good defence, we always knew how to come back" asserted the Turkish forward.

"We knew Montenegro are a great team and so I think it was the defence which created this difference between us."

Indeed both sides were very well matched statistically, but Turkey were simply more clinical offensively once they got into their stride - a fact not lost on Montenegrin guard Anna De Forge.

She said "It was a hard fought game and apart from our shooting percentage versus theirs, everything else was even."

"We didn't make shots and they did, especially at the end of the game and this was the story."

Iva Perovanovic had 17 points and eight rebounds in defeat, whilst team-mate Jelena Skerovic had 16 points and nine assists.




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